By on February 9, 2012

Fans of the station wagon rejoice – Chevrolet has a new product for those of you seeking an alternative to the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, in the form of the Chevrolet Cruze station wagon.

While Europe and Australia will get this vehicle, Americans will be shut out, as Chevrolet has officially denied that we’ll get the Cruze station wagon. The same 1.4 turbo, 1.6 and 1.8L gasoline engines and 1.7 and 2.0L diesel engines will carry over from the sedan and hatchback, as well as Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system. At 184 inches long, the Cruze wagon is about three inches longer than the sedan (and 7 inches longer than the hatchback that we also don’t get) while offering 17.6 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats up and 52 with the seats down. Look for the official real at the Geneva Auto Show in early March.

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161 Comments on “Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon Revealed...”


  • avatar
    alluster

    Three Gasoline, plus two Diesel engines, plus 3 different body styles in a country where they sell 40,000 to 50,000 units a year. But, two gasoline engines and one body style in a country where they sell 230,000 Units a year? The Aussies get 15 different combinations while we get 2!!

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      GM seldom ever makes any dicisions that make any kind of sense. Ever since the so called new GM started in NA they have been scared silly about wagons, 2 door coupes, V6 engines in mid size newly designed cars, full size RWD sedans, full size FWD sedan, roadsters like the now defunct Solstice/Sky and now mid size sport utilities such as the new Trail Blazer which is not coming to NA. It’s almost as if they want to turn themselves into a low volume car company here in the states.

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        Not that I’m the biggest GM fan ever, but let’s look at the facts here… It’s not like “New GM” has been around for more than a few years. All decisions they’ve made have been necessary ones. The solstice/sky died because Pontiac/Saturn died. Engines have shrunk due to the political climate. CAFE has everyone ditching out on V8′s and now V6′s are getting scarce in some segments. BOF suv’s are on their way out, save specialty vehicles. How many manufacturers make more than 1 or 2?

        That being said, I think all the automakers ought to bring more wagon choices. I would strongly consider something like a focus wagon or fusion wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      well put. GM is doing its best to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      This seems to be a common trend. Mfr’s offer more choices and better equipment outside the US.

      I can only surmise what the other markets are willing to pay for a car drives the ability to offer more features and choices. In the US we pay so much less for the same products in many cases, and the mfrs seem to strip the little niceties and keep the option combos down.

      Maybe there is more to it than just the higher prices everyone but Americans are willing to pay.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Hopefully that becomes a Verano wagon. The price could be higher for just the cost of an additional dollop of sound-deadener and slather of leather everywhere. It would also return GM to the Saab-sized hole of a “near luxury wagon”.

    Doing so would also make a more attractive package if they could make that a GS wagon.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    There was a time when very profitable auto companies offered virtually all of their models in virtually any configuration. I get that there is not a big market for wagons in the states, or manual transmissions, but if the design,engineering and manufacturing has already been done why not just offer it for sale in the US?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      As I understand, American consumers don’t like to have to order their car and wait for delivery. They want the dealer to either have the model they want in stock or easily obtainable from another dealer.

      In order to support that, you have to limit the number of option choices.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Let’s say they offer it in the US and sell a few thousand a year. Not going to change things much for them but it would get the attention of the dismayed VW wagon shoppers. It could only be positive for them even if it was special order only. It could only help their image. You’d think coming out of bankruptcy GM would be more aggressive about getting every sale.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        High volume production lines are not well suited to special orders.

        Customization adds to the cost. One reason that Americans pay less for cars is that the assemblers keep the line moving, instead of disrupting the system with large numbers of one-offs built for a few quirky consumers. That makes the system more efficient than it otherwise would be and ensures that the dealerships will be loaded with inventory, which motivates them to move it.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “You’d think coming out of bankruptcy GM would be more aggressive about getting every sale.”

        Going after every sale, even if it meant losing money, is one of the many reasons GM went bankrupt.

        I’m not a production engineer, or an auto executive, but I’d have to think that adding a wagon option costs X due to tooling costs, inventory, employee training, etc*. In order to turn a profit you need to amortize those costs over Y number of vehicles. If you only expect to sell 0.8Y wagons, then building the wagon doesn’t make sense.

        * Another example – with a wagon option, the welding robots would have to programed to weld both sedan and wagon body panels. Presumably that has a quantifiable cost.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        @pch, “High volume production lines are not well suited to special orders.”

        I beg to differ. VW’s Wolfsburg production complex builds nearly a million Golfs, Tiguans and Tourans per year, and the vast majority of these are special orders. In the UK, for example, customers can choose their Golf from five body styles (3d, 5d, wagon/estate, cabriolet or Plus), seven basic trim levels, more than 10 engines, and countless colours and options.

        Modern production scheduling systems enable the production lines to handle this. In North America, it’s the sales model that doesn’t support this many choices, not the production model.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “VW’s Wolfsburg production complex builds nearly a million Golfs, Tiguans and Tourans per year, and the vast majority of these are special orders.”

        And they sell them to Europeans, who pay prices for compacts that would send Americans running for the hills.

        Customization costs money. Americans don’t want to pay much for cars. If Americans were willing to shell out more bucks for econoboxes, then we would have more choices. We prefer to save money.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Pch101,

        What do you think is the main driver? I’m thinking th009 is right and it’s primarily a sales model issue.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “What do you think is the main driver?”

        There are factors on both sides. It began with production — the original Ford mass production model was driven by capacity utilization, which called for keeping the line moving and pushing as much inventory out the door as possible, leaving it to the dealers to hold it and manage it. Making individual tweaks on the line via special order is disruptive — those cost time and money, and the goal is to save both, with some of the savings passed on to the customer.

        But that isn’t the only factor. Americans buy most of their cars on impulse. That requires having inventory at the dealership.

        We also don’t have a large company car market, which also has the effect of our demanding lower prices, since our car costs are more likely to come out of our own pockets.

        Just as long as Americans prefer low prices to customization, we are going to have manufacturers who focus on the the prices. And that means keeping the line moving and filling dealer lots with inventory. It isn’t an either/or situation.

      • 0 avatar
        gettysburg

        If GM offered this in the U.S.(with a manual transmission), it would be the first time in my 28 years of driving, that I’d actually consider buying one of their products.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        Pch101, can you back up the claim that most Americans buy cars on impulse? I’ve heard that a lot, but it seems kind of insane. Although I can certainly cite anecdotal evidence to support that, just wondering if there’s any data.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Another anecdote: I spent all of my late teens and 20′s impulse buying a dozen cars. Now that it’s out of my system and I’ve managed to keep a car a few years the next purchase will be well thought out and deliberate. I would guess that a lot of people go through that evolution.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “I’ve heard that a lot, but it seems kind of insane. ”

        A lot of people who aren’t “car people” just wait until the car dies or pisses them off one to many times and decide “this weekend we’re replacing the crap wagon.” That seems pretty reasonable.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Although I can certainly cite anecdotal evidence to support that, just wondering if there’s any data.”

        I don’t have anything handy, but I recall the figure being supposedly around 70%.

        Your idea of “impulse buy” might differ from some of the research. The definition isn’t standardized, but it can include those who are prepared to be in the market but went to the retailer uncommitted — they went just to browse, and ended up making a purchase that wasn’t planned at that particular time.

      • 0 avatar
        jkumpire

        Not to take this off topic, but jmo reminded me of a question I wanted to ask: If I special order car X from say GM, is it still possible to get different interior colors than black, gray or beige, or the few variations on those colors in some dealer brochure?

        Or have thing deteriorated to the point that only by spending serious $$$$$$ aftermarket or finding a 50 year old car I can get an interior say, in sky blue?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      JCraig, apparently 1 in 20 is sufficiently high rate for Ford to sell a Ti Focus with a manual, and nearly all of those are going to be custom ordered. They will get back more of the cost because of the high margin ‘options’ in the Ti trim.

      A different body style is obviously a bigger deal, but simply looking at competitors that have a wagon/hatch option (Focus, Mazda3), the take rate will be well above 5%. If GM is so scared, they can offer the hatch/wagon only with the more expensive engine/trim levels so that can help offset additional expenses.

      People who want/need a hatch/wagon are willing to pay a bit more to get it. I know I won’t consider a cruze without it.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        It’s more than a “bigger” deal, it’s a totally different, non-comparable deal. It’s infinitely cheaper to make available on one trim line a transmission that’s already available on others, than to sell a completely different body type on a special-order basis. (And then too, the Ti is outrageously marked up, leaving tons of room to still make a big profit.)

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Okay – so as reported in the CTS-V article comments GM’s break even point on the limited production CTS-V is in the low hundreds. So GM couldn’t make a profit on a Cruze wagon or hatch sold worldwide based on pedestrian car parts?

        I smell bullshit somwhere.

        So we just being aimed at SUVs or is a low production pedestrian vehicle like a Cruze wagon somehow not profitable over tens of thousands of units?

        Looks to me like GM is going right back to building low production cars to boost their image. I don’t see any reason to bailout a company too distracted by Corvettes and low production Cadillacs next time.

  • avatar
    MZ3AUTOXR

    I understand why the US doesn’t get a wagon – it’s a niche vehicle and wouldn’t sell.

    I don’t understand why we don’t get the hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      theonewhogotaway

      Wagons are not niche vehicles. They just are not available :) Look at the sales of the Legacy/Outback wagon, the first generation Focus Wagon and the HHR if you don’t believe me.

      About 50% of the people who are buying SUVs and minivans (and 100% of the people who are buying 2WD SUVs with 2 rows of seating) would be fine with a wagon. Car compnanies get much more profit from SUVs and minivans than from wagons, so offering a wagon will cut into their profit. It is about that simple.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        You are delusional if you think wagons will sell in the U.S. even if they are offered. If that was true Volvo, Subaru, VW, BMW, etc… wouldn’t have stopped offering their slow selling wagon models in the states.

      • 0 avatar
        cackalacka

        Uber-

        The curious thing about the list of automakers is, not all of them have cut their wagon models.

        TheOne is spot on. In a recession, the choice between the functionality/utility between a 20-25k wagon and a 30-35k CUV is clear.

        Less margins, but less leadership for GM. Positioning the market for vehicles they cannot necessarily afford is part of the reason why we’re going to continue subsidizing GM’s business plan this April 15.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Most of them have cut most if not all of their wagon models though. VW only has the Jetta, BMW still has the 3 series, or has this been cancelled as was planned? None of the other brands that I mentioned still offer wagons. Acura is really the only other brand to offer a real wagon. Why? They don’t sell.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Uber – those makes you list are all supported by the fact that they make more money on SUV’s here so why offer the wagon? BMW, and Volvo just switched over to cash cow CUVs, VW still sells a Jetta wagon and Subaru never stopped selling them.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        First Gen Focus Wagon? Old news, different times.

        HHR? – Well a search shows that 4, yes 4, were sold in January.

        Legacy/Outback – A niche car by a niche manufacturer. The wagon is a niche of a niche of a niche.

      • 0 avatar
        turbobrick

        IMHO the real reason for the death of the wagon = CAFE. Station wagons count as cars. The wagon has to look slightly different and have a different name in order to qualify as a separate model and then it can be classified as a truck. Best example of this is the Dodge Magnum.

        This also explains why Volvo killed the V70 and replaced it with a FWD XC70. Basically it’s a V70 with a lift kit and some body cladding, and now it’s legally considered a “truck” for the purposes of calculating CAFE mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        turbobrick, I think you’ve nailed it. If car companies were given an incentive to sell hatches/wagons instead of CUVs, and customers were given more reason to pick pragmatically, we’d be amazed at how quickly Americans warmed up to wagons.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        Of course, it was the Detroit 3 who lobbied- hard- for the ridiculous “truck” exemption in the first place. Because they knew they could make more money on those things.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        And BMW, Volvo, Mercedes can’t sell me a wagon under $35K either so even if I do like their product, I can’t afford them. That leaves me with Subbie and VW.

        Which came first – the customer or the affordable wagon?

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Subaru stopped selling wagons in 2007. It is debatable that the Outback can be considered a “wagon”, I say it is a CUV. VW does not sell a lot of Jetta wagons because people go for the CUV models that have the “right” image.

      I want wagons to sell here, but the truth is they don’t and probably won’t ever again.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        The Outback is a Legacy wagon…

      • 0 avatar
        EEGeek

        Actually VW has sold about as many Sportwagens as Tiguans for the last couple of years. JSW sales are down a bit since the new Jetta came out – I’d guess that production priorities in the Puebla plant has made the wagon rather scarce. I know it was a real chore to find a TDI wagon that was halfway close to what I ordered.

        I think wagons would do OK in the US if they were marketed as sportier and more fuel efficient than a CUV with all the practicality. But the gurus can’t see to get past the old family truckster image.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        “I think wagons would do OK in the US if they were marketed as sportier and more fuel efficient than a CUV with all the practicality. But the gurus can’t see to get past the old family truckster image.”

        Mazda tried this with the 6 Wagon and failed.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        No, I own a Legacy wagon. A friend has a new Outback wagon, the differences are significant, especially in the way it drives. I think it is debatable that the new Outback can still be considered a wagon. It has certainly lost a lot of the attributes that made it more car-like and thus had those advantages over it’s other CUV competitors.

      • 0 avatar
        Wacko

        What about the mazda3
        the hatch is basically a wagon, does it sell well in the US??
        here in canada, there seems to be more mazda3 hatches than sedans.

        Personally I like the look of the cruze wagon more than the sedan.

        It looks more upscale

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        @Wacko – the three in hatch form is just that – a 5 door hatch. Doesn’t have the space behind the rear seats to be called a wagon.

        The ‘wagon’ form is really the Mazda 5.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        I agree it’s all about image. While the US is supposedly not wagon friendly, there are millions of SUVs and CUVs plying our roads.

        Has anyone mentioned the Highlander Wagon? In 2WD/FWD it is little more than a Camry Wagon. I think Toyota has sold a ton of those. And yes, the new Outback is really more Forester than Outback Wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        The Outback is still mostly a tall Legacy wagon. Just because they dropped “Legacy” from the name doesn’t change that.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @EEgeek and @MZ3AUTOXR:

        The CUV is already the family truckster.

        I bought an Escape. I really wanted a compact wagon with a trailer hitch, but there aren’t many available — and I couldn’t afford the ones that were. So, I sold out, and got the Escape (which is derived from the Mazda 626 platform). The Escape is a good family vehicle and well suited to my purposes. I wanted, and still want, a regular wagon and not a tall wagon.

        Take my Escape, make it 6″-8″ shorter, add a few MPGs, and give me a diesel or a plugin hybrid, and you have my ideal car. The newer Escapes seem have made some modest efficiency improvements, but they’re still too tall. But, alas, I couldn’t afford a Subaru Outback that was in a family-friendly condition, so I probably couldn’t afford a plugin hybrid wagon, either… Maybe when the economy picks up.

        In any case, I’ll be eagerly awaiting developments on the Cruze wagon, especially if a diesel variant is available.

        P.S. The post-2010 Outback is SUV-tall in my book. If I can see the surface of the roof when I’m standing at street level, it’s a wagon. If I can’t see the surface of the roof, it’s a “big vehicle”. My Escape is a “big vehicle”, even though it’s slightly shorter than my wife’s Prius and has the same city-friendly turning radius. This isn’t a very objective standard, of course, and it depends on my height (I’m short) — but it does define whether I think of a vehicle as “my” kind of car, or whether I drive it only because I have to.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Two box hatch and wagon designs lack an essential separate 3rd box without windows for carrying the laptop computer to and from work. Similar situation combining several stops into one shopping trip. Too much opportunity for smash and grab theft.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        A problem shared by SUV/CUVs, so there goes that argument. Every hatch/wagon/SUV comes with a cargo cover/parcel shelf to address this problem.

      • 0 avatar
        theonewhogotaway

        That’s why you have a retractable cover in a wagon/SUV that can cover your things from view. Most hatches already have that (the rear “shelf” is attached to the window and one cannot see what you have in the car.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        And there would be an excellent aftermarket item to manufacture. In my CR-V under the rear cargo shelf which is really a small card table, there is the spare tire well which the Civic uses (much the same chassis as the CR-V). Create a steel locking compartment for your valuables. Wagons could have these as well designed into the sides of the cargo area.

        I too have the factory cover. No problems so far.

    • 0 avatar
      56BelAire

      Wagons are niche vehicles in the US???

      There are literaly millions of high wagons traversing the highways and byways of America, they are simply called SUVs and CUVs not wagons. But they’re really just wagons.

      I bet if Chevy put 20-22″ wheels and fat tires on the Cruze wagon and installed a 4-6″ lift kit people would flock to it.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        My opinion is that demographically, the USA prefers CUV’s/SUV’s is because our fuel prices are lower, our average person is taller, our population (that can afford a new vehicle) is getting older (thus a 25″ hip-height vehicle is easier to get in and out of), has a lot of “soccer moms”, and a few other reasons I’m sure. Add to that the greater perceived value of a high-riding vehicle with AWD and big tires (thus allowing more upward pressure on pricing due to options), and you have the formula.
        A Chevy dealer would not even *want* to sell a Cruze wagon, when he can (easily) sell an Equinox, and his main job would be to steer a buyer into that Equinox.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Shhhh…don’t let that dirty little secret out to the millions that bought SUVs. They’d freak if they thought they were actually driving a wagon around instead of a big, honkin’ truck. Thing is, many wagons actually have as much, if not more, carrying capacity than SUVs (my Lancer Sportback Ralliart has at least, if not more, room to carry than my sister’s new Tucson). But as we know, folks aren’t really buying SUVs for the practicallity…more on image than anything else. Most SUVs I see never make it off road (and quite a few are 2wd to begin with) and are usually occupied by one person. I rather like that I can actually take a corner at reasonable speeds in my Lancer, rather than pondering around a corner in a very top-heavy SUV…
        As for the Cruze wagon…I like it. Too bad there isn’t a viable market for it here in the US. Yes, VW sells the Sportwagon, and Subie has there variants…but those don’t sell in any kind of quantity that seems to interest GM to invest in bringing it here. I’d love to see a wagon revival in the States…

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    GM and Ford seem to be on the same trend they were pre-crisis, only giving the US a small amount of the massive variety available to the rest of the world. I guess all hopes have to go to Chrysler(FIAT), who were so bad off they really need to try something new.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Oh for the love of all that’s holy, just SELL it already! Heck even make it special order only!

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      Yes on the special order. To give you an idea, Yamaha had the FJR1300 for sale in other countries but not here because they didn’t think it would sell. (One dealer told me, “I can sell a new 600 sport bike to the same guy every other year. You FJR1300 riders will buy one and ride it for 10.”) So they made it special order only. None were in the dealers, you had to plunk down $500 and then they’d order you one. Turns out people lined up to lay down their dollars. Chevy could do the same.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      @Educator Dan: You must have had to pick yourself off the floor after seeing this!

      That really looks nice. Hope they sell it here, too.

    • 0 avatar
      dima

      Dan.
      They would. They obviously are selling them everywhere else. I think the reason is that we are not getting one is due to USA special standard for car safety and emissions. Most of the world is standardized on a European standard, so ones the car is build, it can be easily moved to the future buyer whenever he/she might be located. In US case these models have to be federalized, and this is a huge cost for one off models.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    That’s fine, GM, don’t sell your wagons. I’ve owned a few GM trucks for the 20 or so years and was considering on buying another car as gas prices soar. I guess I’ll buy a Subaru if you won’t offer any of the stuff you sell overseas. Sedans are useless. And I LIKE the Cruze, haven driven one around Cali as a rental.

  • avatar
    geofcol

    You will obey me while I lead you
    And eat the garbage that I feed you
    Until the day that we don’t need you
    Don’t go for help…no one will heed you
    Your mind is totally controlled
    It has been stuffed into my mold
    And you will do as you are told
    Until the rights to you are sold
    “I am the Slime”
    Frank Zappa

  • avatar

    Far more attractive than the sedan. An SS of this with the 2.0T from the Cobalt? If they got the steering right…

  • avatar
    ixim

    It’s an Equinox/RAV4/CRV with less space and less ground clearance. Looks better, though, and the idea of stealing sales from VW appeals. Build me a manual diesel, pls.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    TTAC just doesn’t get it, nor do the other car sites/mags. USA is SUV territory, the bigger the better. More profits too.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      So we all should quietly fit into the segments that the car companies choose for us? I for one won’t go quietly.

      I want a sporty wagon, four cylinder, manual transmission and preferrably turbo diesel. If Gm won’t sell it to me, if Ford won’t sell it to me, then VW will. After owning many VWs I’ll be happy to own another. The car in the picture above looks like it would do nicely.

      (Notice how I left Chrysler out? Chrysler is scary on the durability stats – far more so to me than VW which has been good to me).

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    April Fools! (A little bit early.)

  • avatar
    mikey

    As a GM retiree,I am somewhat dismayed that GM hands so much of the market to the competition. No wagons,no smaller vans,and what about a two door,that doesn’t cost 50k?

    I can only hope that these decisions are based on market research.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      GM has a long track record of making bad decisions.

      But this isn’t one of them. The demand for compact wagons is low. In the US, all of the growth has been in “light trucks”, including CUV’s.

      The fact that niche makers such as VW and Subaru are offering them, while others do not, is a good indication of this. The only companies that make a point of selling them are those that have so little market share that they have to settle for the scraps. The volume sellers avoid them because they have other vehicles to sell, instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Bill Walker

        “The fact that niche makers such as VW and Subaru are offering them, while others do not, is a good indication of this.”

        Define “niche maker.” The last time I looked VW was selling almost as many vehicles as GM and had a plan to sell more. If they can be a “niche maker, why can’t GM?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The last time I looked VW was selling almost as many vehicles as GM and had a plan to sell more.”

        In the United States, that isn’t even close to being the case. VW is a minor player in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        So why does the Cruze wagon (or any wagon) qualify as a niche vehicle? It’s the same platform, same interior up to the rear seat, same driveline. It comes down to different rear springs and maybe shocks, a bit different exhaust at the rear end, some sheet metal, some plastic and it can all be built on the same assembly line.

        Why call out a wagon as a separate product from the base product?

        Surely if GM could build a half dozen SUVs that were marginally different, they could afford to sell a wagon here whose design work is completed and is being built elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Far more attractive than the sedan.”

    And like the Jetta wagon far more attractive and useful than any CUV. I think the current Malibu with those funky camaro taillights would look cool in a wagon model. But that will never happen. Should have gambled on a new Passat wagon when I had the chance a few years ago.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    It’s amazing today. The more we have the less we have. I have never seen so many product holes in three car companies as there are now. Years ago I could walk into any Chevy dealer and order my 80′s Malibu in coupe, sedan or wagon body styles. Same for the full size RWD Caprice or Ford Crown Vic or Fairmont/Granada. There were engine choices, trim level choices, interior colors with as many as 6 available colors etc. Just try ordering a Malibu coupe or wagon now or a Regal with a V6 or a Ford Fusion with an interior color other than charcoal or gray. We have hybrids, reliable efficient engines and uber loads of tech toys available but little in the way of bodystyles, engines, colors or individual options. I really don’t understand the mentality of today’s car shoppers sometimes.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Simple. Conformity. It’s that same mentality that motivates people to move into homogeneous suburban developments where every house looks the same.

      • 0 avatar
        moedaman

        “Simple. Conformity. It’s that same mentality that motivates people to move into homogeneous suburban developments where every house looks the same.”

        I have to disagree with you on the “suburb” comment. People moved and continue to move to suburbs to get away from the bullshit that exists in big cities. “Vote with your feet” comes to mind.

        The major reason why most suburban homes are homogeneous is because developers buy big sections of land and only build a limited selection of homes in those large sections. A builder isn’t going to lower profits by having a large selection of plans to offer. Much cheaper and quicker to use a limited number that they’re familar with. Much like the car industry.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        Re: suburban development.

        People buy what is available in regards to housing. I seriously doubt most people prefer the garage dominated cookie cutter houses of today on a cul-de-sac.

        And with federal development polices of the past which encouraged suburban development, there is a lot to go around.

        People want newer houses vs. older pre-war housing in traditional neighborhoods for two reasons. 1) lots of deferred maintenance, and federal housing policies such as section 8 which highly concentrated welfare folk in the city.

        And I’ll even add a 3rd reason. The traditional neighborhoods that escaped 60 years of poor federal policy, have been well maintained, and aren’t a cesspool of section 8 folks are so insanely priced few can afford them.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        People move to the suburbs to give their children an advantage in life. A suburban house has a safe backyard for children to play in and good schools where children of other homeowners of similar income and education level fill out the classroom.

        Cars (and houses) end up being somewhat homogeneous because most consumers don’t like unique products enough to pay a higher price. Comes down to checking off the largest number of popular features and size vs. price.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    It is pretty amazing the lack of choices we have now. I for one will not be purchasing a sedan of any kind, probably for the next 10 years due to family needs. I will buy minivans, hatches, and if available, wagons, all of which, there are fewer and fewer choices available. Are they still talking about a diesel option in the Cruze, or did that get the ax too?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Personally, i only consider getting hatchbacks or small wagons. i dont get sedans, literally.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Too bad, the wagon is easy on the eyes. We have a pair Cruzes at work and aside from the dangerously gutless 1.8L engines they are very nice cars – especially for being base model strippers. Most GM engines are fairly innovative and well engineered so how is it that they are only able to wring 138 HP out of this motor? Honda’s 1.8 had 60 more horsepower from the same displacement 15 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Yes, damn you Toyota for your 1.8L that produces only 132 HP.

      Damn you Honda for only 142 HP out of your current 1.8L engine.

      Damn you Hyundai and Mazda for only 148 HP out of your 1.8L 4-banger.

      Oh wait, 138 HP is class competitive?*

      * Not meant as praise for the rather terrible GM 1.8L 4-cylinder but its power and torque specs are right in line with other C-segment cars of the same displacement.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        Mazda 3 is a 2.0, not a 1.8

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Mazda builds a 1.8L engine – you are correct it is not in its C-Segment car.

        Mazda is also circling the drain.

        My point was like engines with like displacement. The 1.8L 4 in the Cruze is class competitive both on HP and torque numbers.

        To the point that a Honda engine a decade ago produced 60 more HP, that was likely not using SAE numbers. Many foreign auto makers used inflated HP numbers through 2004 or 2005 IIRC until it was cracked down. I know the Toyota dual-cam engine in the Matrix/Vibe went from 185 HP to something like 148 HP – no difference in the engine, just following the SAE test spec.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Just because it is class competitive doesn’t mean that 4 cylinder engine technology hasn’t lagged behind in general considering the drastic improvements in 6 and 8 cylinder technology in the past 10 years.

        Also, I call BS on your claim of inflated horsepower numbers. Let’s take the ’99 Civic SI as an example:

        Engine: 160HP 1.6L
        Weight: 2606 lbs
        0-60: 7.1 seconds

        Using your calculations for the Matrix the Civic really only has 128 SAE adjusted HP.

        Now lets take the specs for the Cruze:

        Engine: 132 HP 1.8L
        Weight: 2935lbs
        0-60: 9.7 seconds

        How does a car with 89% of the weight and 96% of the HP hit 60MPH a full 2.6 seconds sooner?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …Also, I call BS on your claim of inflated horsepower numbers. Let’s take the ’99 Civic SI as an example…

        Oh for the love of God. I suggest you cry and stomp your feet too, that might help make it true. Honda and Toyota only rolled back their HP numbers back in 2005. It was only in like, the news and automotive press. A quick Google search can prove the claim.

        http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2005/08/17/140505.html

        …the society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have developed stricter tests on horsepower that has prompted Toyota and Honda to roll back estimates on several vehicles, including the Camry and Acura RL, reported The Detroit News.

        For the 2006 model year, Toyota says its Camry generates 190 horsepower, rather than 210 horsepower reported in 2005.

        Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said he hopes the changes won’t be confusing. “If you drive a 2006 or 2005, it drives the same. It’s the same car. Customers are not getting anything less or anything more…

        If you actually do some research instead of a knee jerk reaction like a child, you’ll discover that some Japanese models lost over 20% HP rating with the new certification, while many American and Japanese automakers saw none to little change, and in some cases saw horsepower increases.

        And, if you’re going to do fun with math to get 0 to 60 times as justification for horsepower or the lack of, please explain the Toyota Camry SE with the six-cylinder.

        That dangerous pokey Cruze your driving is faster than a Camry LE to 60. I cherry picked 0 to 60 time too and found Consumer Guide could only squeeze out 10.1 seconds.

        Look, if I have a basic, fuel injected single overhead low compression engine, it won’t produce as much horsepower as a direct injected, variable valve timing, high compression engine – d’uh, its going to produce more horsepower from the same displacement. It’s also more expensive to build, more expensive to feed, and more sensitive to the fuel you put in the tank.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Many foreign auto makers used inflated HP numbers through 2004 or 2005 IIRC until it was cracked down.”

        Not really, no.

        There is no single universal method for measuring horsepower. SAE standards are voluntary.

        In 2005, SAE created a standard and testing procedure that automakers have to use IF they wish to claim that their horsepower ratings are “SAE J1349 certified.” Outside of Detroit, most companies don’t bother to use this standard — it is voluntary, and they can sell cars without it. Aside from your friends at GM, Ford and Chrysler, only Kawasaki gets their engines certified using this standard.

        I’m not aware of any proof that Toyota or Honda made up the results, and I doubt that you’ll find it. Changing the methodology used to calculate the figures is not the same as making it up out of thin air.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        “If you actually do some research instead of a knee jerk reaction like a child”

        Childish? I’m not the one resorting to snark and name calling buddy, just trying to point out the facts.

        I don’t doubt that some manufacturers may have inflated their HP numbers, it happens all of the time in fact, but to make an sweeping generalization about all “foreign” automakers? Come on man.

        As to your Camry…maybe they were towing a horse trailer when they clocked that time? A 30 second Google search shows the 2012 V6 Camry 0-60 in the high 5 second range.

        All I am trying to point out is that when two vehicles have a similar power to weight ratio, shape, and drive-train configuration they are going to have similar 0-60 times. Minor variations in things like gearing, tires, and aerodynamics are going to come into play but aren’t going to make a drastic difference. Do you disagree?

        The Integra and Civic SI were a step above the basic compact cars of the time but high performance sports cars they weren’t. Both had variable valve timing(pretty much standard on all 4 cyl engines today), neither had direct injection, and both had slightly worse fuel economy than modern cars in their segment.

        You’ve failed to effectively refuted a single one of my points so my question remains, why have’t 4 cylinder engines seen the kind of drastic power and efficiency gains that V6 and V8 engines have in the last 15 years? I’m not buying your horsepower fraud argument. The 5L engine in the 2012 Mustang GT makes 200 more horsepower and 100 more ft/lbs of torque than the 5L in the 1995 and gets better mileage doing it. The numbers on the V6 Mustang are even more drastic.

        If you can come up with an intelligent snark-free response I’ll play otherwise don’t waste your time.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        @azmtbkr81:

        I think you have to look at overall driveabililty.

        The ’99 Civic SI you brought up made 160hp@7600RPM and 111lb-ft@7000RPM. VTEC engaged at 5800RPM. You can get a good 0-60 time if you wind it out, but that kind of power delivery doesn’t match up with the way many people drive.

        A ’12 Cruze 1.8L makes 138hp@6300 and 138lb-ft@3800. So, it is going to be slower than the Honda screamer, but in day-to-day driving people are going to like the available torque and the lower noise level.

        There have been advancements in I4 engines, but most of it has been devoted to NVH, emissions, and torque.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      It’s how it’s tuned. My late 90s VW has a 2.0 that makes 115HP and seem decent torque. My late 90s Honda also has a 2.0 and it makes 146HP and what feels like less torque.

      I’ll gladly sacrifice the HP for some torque. Makes driving around town easier.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    I know it is not popular, mainly because of it’s looks and price, but the best “wagon” on the market right now is the Ford Flex. Still working on convincing the wife on getting one. I just need to get her to test drive it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ford Flex = the world’s largest Scion xB.

    • 0 avatar
      Wodehouse

      It’s a great vehicle with which Ford, unfortunately, doesn’t know how to market.

      I’m not a big fan of wagons having been hauled around as a child in a never ending stream of ’50s and ’60s 3 seat behemoths while playmates’ and neighbors’ families had stylish coupes and/or swanky, pillar free hardtop sedans. That said, I’d love to have a taxicab plain Flex with a hose it out interior and plain steel wheels.

  • avatar
    ccttac

    I believe that GMs reluctance to add line variations is really all about quality. They have said numerous times that they intend for their quality to be at the very top, the very best in the business. In order to do that they are seeing to it that they get as many repetitions as possible of the same task. That task may be seen as simple such as installing one component. Or, it may be viewed as complex – building the entire four door Cruze sedan. It seems to me that they have been excellent at sticking to this discipline and the results certainly show in well built cars. Almost no one is talking about lousy GM quality these days.

    Also, the hatchback and the sedan have not been thoroughly vetted in real world use. Who knows if they may show up with some unanticipated leak, rattle, noise, etc. problem after they have been on the road for a while. The bad publicity would repaired correctly. Better to get down the learning curve in other markets before risking anything in the biggest market.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      That’s not far off the mark. Case in point: The Cutlass Ciera of the 1990′s. Woefully uncompetitive for years, but at near the top of CR’s reliability ratings. Go figure…

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Some Canadian on the editorial board should consider doing a review of the Orlando. That’s as close as you’re likely to get to a Cruze wagon in North America right now and it could be interesting. Any takers?

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Depreciation on wagons is a killer…a total deal-breaker in a market where a significant portion of ‘sales’ are leases. Dealers won’t want any of these on their lot….”If I can’t lease it, I don’t want it in my inventory!” So,as previous posters have opined, it would have to be sold on a ‘special order’ basis.

    Due to the “toyotification’ of the industry, the auto game is to move mass amount of product from factory to dealer to customer as quickly as possible. Time is most definitely money. Time to process and fill and ship special orders is money lost.

    Not only that, but I bet the wagons sold in Europe and Oz will all be made in Europe and Oz (..and maybe the cost to US certify adds to the problem. IDKFS?)

    So, it would be a great deal of time and money invested by GM to sell a vehicle which would apply to a small minority of buyers who a.) want to buy rather than lease AND b.) have the credit/down-payment/trade equity to do so, AND c.) are willing to take a huge depreciation hit to have the vehicle they want AND d.) are willing to pay FULL-PRICE plus(and additional shipping cost) for a special-order vehicle when so many other almost-as-desirable vehicles are there on the lot for their instant gratification AND e.) are domestic-intenders. The sub-market of persons who meet ALL of those criteria is pretty damned small, so small as to not register on a cost-benefit scale….

    It sucks, but its the truth. Why would GM bother?

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    As a wagon owner (European, of course), I have to say, this looks nice in the photo. Sadly, I have to admit that Acura’s effort to sell the TSX wagon here has been a failure, BMW no longer sells a 5-series wagon, Volvo has announced that it is no longer going to be selling wagons (in the U.S. if not everywhere) and Saab is dead and soon to be buried. (Saab’s best car, IMHO was the 9-5 wagon, which I own.)
    So, I can understand GM’s thinking: why take a big risk when it looks like the reward will be small?

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      “Sadly, I have to admit that Acura’s effort to sell the TSX wagon here has been a failure”

      They were hamstrung by the earthquake which stopped production for 2011. When I bought mine in May demand was very high and the dealers were having trouble finding any. Mine came three states away.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Having seen the TSX wagon I have to say that some of their problem is detail styling. The darn thing is weird looking just like some of the other Honda products. I also say that as a Honda customer as far back as the 80s. They could make some adjustments and have a better looking car that might get picked more often.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    And once again GM thinks we don’t want vehicles like the Acura TSX Sport wagon I bought. That Cruze even looks like it a little bit, although frankly I’d rather have Acura on the door than GM.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Cruze wagon with a diesel that makes 50+ mpg of the prospective sedan….buh-bye Prius X! No 99 horsepower weakling here. Cargo hauler that oozes torque.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      Norm: “Cruze wagon with a diesel that makes 50+ mpg of the prospective sedan….buh-bye Prius X! No 99 horsepower weakling here. Cargo hauler that oozes torque.”

      I’ve always wondered why GM, instead of wasting money and resources on a sales dud plus PR nightmare like the Volt, didn’t just bring over a diesel from Europe. With 50 MPG highway easily, plenty of torque, a base price of $19K, and targeted marketing Chevy could have easily one upped the prius and “outgreened” Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        LectroByte

        They already outgreen-imaged Toyota with the Volt, so why sully their image with a dirty diesel?

      • 0 avatar
        theonewhogotaway

        The problems with diesels in the US are:

        a. Generally uninformed and/or biased “average” consumers (and some of them remembere the debacle of the Olds diesels.)
        b. Lack of infrastructure in terms of numbers of “gas” stations who carry diesel.
        c. Lack of infrastructure in terms of “car repairpeople” outside the dealer network who can successfully deal with diesels.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        d. Right now where I live, diesel costs $0.50 more a gallon than regular gas.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @supersleuth

        You must have studied the “new math”.

        If a the diesel version of a car gets 40% better mileage than the gasoline version (which is not unusual), then diesel would have to be 40% more expensive than gas for it to cost the SAME to drive a given distance. $.50 more than regular is not even close to 40% more, when your base is >$3.50/per.

        And that is without getting into all the other advantages of diesel – range, that lovely low-revving torque, etc.

        I’ve said before on here, hybrids have thier place, and that place is urban commuting. Diesels are better for distance driving. So choose the appropriate tool for the job.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        Let’s look at the only thing resembling a volume diesel in the US, and with a particularly crappy gas engine comp just to load the dice in your favor. Jetta 2.5 stick: 26 EPA combined. Jetta TDI stick: 34 EPA combined. That’s only a 30% difference. The EPA estimated yearly fuel cost advantage for the TDI is about $300 (and that’s an overestimate at current diesel prices). The TDI costs thousands more to buy. Do the math yourself. If you like diesels, cool, more power to you; I’d be tempted myself if I were in the market now (and if I trusted VW’s quality). But as an economic proposition for the average person, not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @ Supersleuth

        But the advantage is still to the diesel. And as I said, the use case for a diesel is long distance highway driving, which will stretch the advantage even more. And as fuel prices rise more and more, I expect the diesel advantage to rise right along with it. And nobody buys a diesel to putter around town, I have no doubt that the miles driven by the average diesel owner are much higher than average.

        So whining that the fuel is slightly more expensive is a red herring.

        And to add a bit of real world to your particular argument, I know 3 people with recent TDIs, and they all get mid-40s mpg in the real world. I got a consistent mid-50s with my ’02, but it was slower and dirtier. One of those cars that always seems to do better in the real world than on the artifical test. Maybe the gas car does too, but I doubt it.

  • avatar
    Feds

    Oh Hello again! I remember you when you back when you were the Optra Wagon.

    http://www.wheels.ca/article/423069

    Did the US get the Suzuki version (the Forenza?)

  • avatar
    hriehl1

    While anecdotal, my recent experience does offer some insight.

    I wanted a Ford Focus wagon. Sorry, they don’t make them anymore (even though I see a lot of them so the must have sold reasonably well).

    How about a Hyunndai Elantra Touring? 2 dealerships, a total of 3 in stock units, all way over-configured.

    How about a Jetta Sportwagon (diesel or gas)? Dealer #1 had one gas unit at sticker. The other dealer would put my name on a list for a $500 deposit.

    How about a Mazda3? It felt too small (though I ended up with a Mazda5 at Honda Fit money, which I’m happy with).

    The moral? Station wagons are like manual transmissions… of course they don’t sell… they’re not offered. But if VW can make a business case for the low-volume (in the U.S.) Sportwagon, then Chevy & Ford can make a business case for Cruze and Focus wagons respectively.

    That they don’t points to their 50-year legacy of arrogance where the Detroit firms try to manipulate the market (clearly unsuccessfully) rather than react to the market.

  • avatar

    a very nice looking vehicle.

  • avatar
    alluster

    A wagon or HB will get new buyers who never set foot in a Chevy dealership before. Many don’t know how far GM has come WRT to quality and the only way these people are going to find out is by getting their rears some seat time. Its also about denying a sale to the competition. Market share has never been so hard to earn which explains why despite the strong yen, Toyota is heavily marketing and discounting the Yaris, Scion’s, and Corolla’s.

    Every one of the Cruze’s main competition is available as a Coupe or Hatchback or Wagon. The Civic (Sedan, Coupe, Performance, High Efficiency, Hybrid, CNG), the Corolla (Sedan, HB and Coupe ), the focus (Sedan. HB and performance) and the Elantra (Copue, Sedan and HB). To compete well the Cruze needs to come in 3 body styles and an AWD or E-assist version. Chevy currently has no replacement to the HHR which sold around 70,000 Units a year, albeit mostly to fleet.

    GM should sell them in the US even if they only break even or import them from South Korea or Mexico if you want higher margins. The Cruze’s main competitor Focus, has a hatch back take rate of 40%. GM would be wise to do a study to determine what a HB take rate would be and the demographics (the incomes, credit scores, education levels, age group) of these customers. IIRC people from these demographics prefer HB/Wagons and diesels more than anyone else. GM has to make inroads into the Cali and North East Markets where HB’s/Wagons, Diesels and AWD are very popular, even if it initially is money losing proposition.

    GM OTH has other ideas. They would like to steer buyers looking for utility into more profitable CUV’s like the Equinox/Terrain, demand for which has been hard to contain. They also don’t want a sporty Cruze to steal sales from the Camaro. For comparison Toyota sells 12 models in the sub camry size : Corolla, Matrix, xD,xB, tC, iQ, Prius C, Yaris sedan, Yaris HB, Lexus CT, HS and Prius. GM sells 4: Cruze, Sonic HB and Sedan and Verano. Guess which company has a higher market share in passenger cars?

  • avatar
    GMis4GoodManners

    “While Europe and Australia will get this vehicle, Americans will be shut out, as Chevrolet has officially denied that we’ll get the Cruze station wagon.”

    Count me _officially_ pissed off. Good Gravey! What do you have to do to get a freakin stationwagon in this freakin country!

  • avatar
    lw

    If only it was a $60,000 Hybrid, then they could sell it in America…

    Sigh…

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    If they sell it with the diesel they’re going to put into the Cruze, it will give the Jetta wagon a run for its money!

    In fact this wagon seem like a better, more natural place to put the diesel in than either the sedan or the hatchback.

  • avatar
    smokingclutch

    Yeah right, like any of the “best and brightest” GM haters would buy one of these anyway. If it were offered, most of them would just have some other excuse not to buy it. I bet if they offered a diesel, manual wagon, we’d hear the same old “GM quality sucks” and “I would never support Government Motors” lines.

    • 0 avatar
      lw

      Your probably right about folks finding a reason to hate it regardless of the product.. Consequences for pissing off millions of people are a real bummer….

      It’s almost like people who do bad things, have to deal with the result… So odd.. I thought that was fixed years ago…

      • 0 avatar
        smokingclutch

        Most of the people responsible for those decisions departed the company a long time ago. Many of them are dead. How long should the current management and employees be expected to “pay”?

        GM can do no right around these parts, at least among a majority of commenters.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Smokingclutch – are we sure that the problem people are gone? I see a couple of prominent managers were forced out but then Bob “Global Warming is a crock of” Lutz is still there.

        TTAC – just how much of a turn over in GM management was there? Are all the “yes men” gone? How about the “no men”.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    The last compact wagon I believe GM sold in the U.S. was the Saturn SW and LW line. The SW sold well and the used market seems to put a high value on them (relatively speaking, no Saturn S-series cars are worth much). The L never sold particularly well in any body style. The SW was even available with a manual transmission.

    One long-term concern I have is that GM’s reliance on “market research” always had them following the market because they were producing things that customers want today rather than what they will want in 4 years when the car comes to market.

    When I was a kid, everyone drove station wagons and my first car was a hand-me-down 1978 Buick Electra Estate. When Chrysler introduced the minivan in the early ’80s, wagons became passe and the family truckster of choice was the minivan. In the 1990s this was replaced by the SUV, in the ’00s people switched to “crossover” or car-based faux SUVs which are really wagons but taller. Each subsequent generation didn’t want what their parents drove. Thus, today minivans aren’t “cool” but they are better than ever and still a solid market segment. GM has simply never seriously tried to compete in the minivan segment but Toyota Siennas, Honda Odysseys and Mazda5s are quite common on the roads around me.

    My question is what will be hot after the CUV? I think fuel-efficient and fun to drive wagons (not the Buick of my youth but more like the Jetta and this nice-looking Cruze) are a potential hot ticket. In terms of interior space, they are often as if not more efficient than a CUV (my old BMW 525iT had more luggage space than an X5 and got about 50% better fuel economy) unless one needs three rows, in which a CUV isn’t on the shopping list anyway.

    My question to GM is “do you want to be caught flat-footed when the CUV becomes passe or do you want to lead the market by offering a Cruze wagon when most of the competition don’t offer anything similar?”

    I find it hard to believe that if they can make them profitably for much smaller markets that they can’t offer them to the U.S. even if you’re talking about a small percentage of what’s a much larger market.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Amen. Today’s hot sector the CUV will be tomorrow’s minivans. GM needs to diversify its offerings so it is not caught flat footed by a changing market place. Just like it was when it put all its eggs in the truck/full sized SUV basket.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “Today’s hot sector the CUV will be tomorrow’s minivans.”

        It’s already happened. I fought like hell to avoid buying a CUV, but in the end, an Escape was the only vehicle I could afford that solved my problem. And, yes, a big part of the problem is hauling my 2-year-old around.

        The CUV is already the family truckster. At least, if my Escape isn’t one, I don’t know what one is.

        My wife vetoed a minivan, unless both of the rear rows of seats folded, and I vetoed minivans that were so old they didn’t have LATCH or side airbags. The remaining vehicle that we could afford with folding seats, LATCH, side-folding airbags, and a trailer hitch was the Escape. (I couldn’t afford a Subaru wagon that had any life left in it, or a Matrix.)

        I feel like I sold out to social pressure and got a vehicle I didn’t really want. The good news is that the Escape is designed through-and-through for the kind of family transportation I need, and I really like the way it drives. But I still feel like a sell-out for buying an SUV/CUV/trucklet.

        Maybe my finances will be better a year and I’ll be able to trade my Escape for the diesel or plugin hybrid wagon I really wanted. But a trailer hitch and roof racks required in order to solve my problem. The Cruze Wagon with a diesel in it will be on my list, if I get the right kind of raise!

        In the meantime, I’ll amble along in my surprisingly fun to drive family truckster.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    It is all about marketing if the Cruze station wagon was to be a success in the USA.

    Simply call it the “Cruze SportWagon” to change the perception of station wagons. Only sell it with great wheels and trim as shown. A nice dual exhaust tip would finish it off. They need to shake off the bare bones “down scale” wagon syndrome. The segment is wide open to take.

    Illustrate the gas mileage, environmental, and handling advantages over a comparable old school SUV. A few simple cartoon clips of height, air flow, and center of gravity would work.

    Finish with showing the Cruze Sportwagon passing an SUV on a mountain road as the SUV pulls into a gas station. Next show the sportwagon arriving at an upscale destination with the “iPOd” family getting out.
    ==================
    That said, I would vote with my checkbook and buy one for the wife if this was offered at a reasonable sell price.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      Its not about marketing, product, or customer acceptance . Its all about greed and profit margins. GM has figured that Wagon’s and Hatch’s do not command a price premium compared to suv/cuv’s. This will not change unless gas prices hit $5 – $6 a gallon. For example, GM went great lengths to make sure the Buick Encore does not end up looking like a Wagon/Hatch/Boxy and have to knock $5,000 off the selling price. One reason why it has 18″ wheels standard. They figured they may save 50 bucks by using smaller wheels, but have to charge $5000 less if it looks like a wagon/hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        Yeah, because God forbid companies actually make a profit.

      • 0 avatar
        Trend-Shifter

        Hello Alluster,

        You are probably correct that GM is thinking as you described.
        However, as pointed out by others, it could draw in another set of potential customers that would not have considered a GM vehicle or any brand SUV.

        Think Subaru, Honda CrossTour, and customers of similar vehicles. Give them an affordable and desireable sportwagon. Now add in all the wagons that have gone away.

        Look how a previously small fragmented market segment with many choices has changed to very few choices. The market potential just grew.

    • 0 avatar
      MZ3AUTOXR

      “Simply call it the “Cruze SportWagon” to change the perception of station wagons. Only sell it with great wheels and trim as shown.”

      As I mentioned above – Mazda did this with the 6. We had one. Drove like a sports sedan. Enough room for a family of 4 on a short trip, too small for a family of 5 (which is why we have an Odyssey now). Too small for a family of 4 on a long trip unless you put gear on the roof.

      It failed.

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        Has anything but the Subie Outback succeeded at this game? And even that is a niche vehicle whose sales would be a rounding error for Chevy. (Also, mentioning the Crossturd in this context is pretty amusing- what have they sold, six of them?)

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        VW does well with the Jetta wagon, but, like the Subaru, it is more of a niche with a loyal following.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        Failed compared to what? If you were a minivan buyer, obviously anything smaller than a minivan would be no good for you. But a lot of buyers need something a little bigger than a sedan, but not as big as a minivan.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        I bought a 2005 Mazda 6 wagon. It was one of 6 on the dealer’s lot. They couldn’t do enough to get the car keys in my hands as fast as possible.

        Went back a couple of months later for a small warranty issue. The other 5 wagons were still there. In talking to the sales guy that I dealt with, I found out that all had gotten an oil change because they had been on the lot for over 6 months.

        It just did not sell.

        Failure

        And if not a failure, how come there are no 2nd generation wagons.

        Right – everyone wants a CX-7 or CX-9

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        You know what? Mazda never advertised the Mazda wagon here. I wonder how many people didn’t know that wagon even existed? Saturn did the same thing with the Astra. Around here they showed the whole lineup BUT the Astra. Non-car people are dependent on commercials or seeing unfamiliar vehicles in their social circle to know about it’s existence.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    …is the picture screwed up or did GM really screw up the driver’s side tail light? It doesn’t match the other light.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    this one is simple – just like the little H(onda), they won’t offer a wagon because that would interfere with their sales of SUV/CUVs. why, again, was my money spent on these pigs?

    • 0 avatar
      supersleuth

      If you want them to finish repaying the taxpayers, you should want them to make the decisions that earn them the most profit. Selling a Cruze wagon that cannibalizes sales of the more profitable Equinox would do the opposite.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        But the problem with GM is this problem of no wagons existed before the loan. I’ll be surprised if it changes after the loan is repaid. And repayment doesn’t explain the CTS wagon or the Volt either.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Meh, GMs just a bunch of cheapskates.

    If they wanted this to sell in the US all they’d have to do is tack on some cheap plastic trim, change the name to something stupid, and offer 4WD.

    If GM would stop listening to focus groups, quit wasting money on excessive marketing, and stop building cars so cheaply they would be somewhere by now.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    It’s a nice looking car, too bad we won’t get it.

    FWIW, I’d really like to see what a diesel Cruze wagon would MSRP for. I participated in a marketing study several years ago that asked about your intentions for buying a diesel car.

    The were multiple choice questions, something like: Would you buy a diesel car if it were A.) $0 extra, B.) $2,000 extra, C.) $4,000 extra. And from there, more questions were quantifying what your pain threshold was to buy a diesel car.

    Honestly, mine was pretty low.

    IIRC, the Jetta Sport Wagon TDI is fair amount more expensive than the regular JSW, and also the maintenance is more. Much the same applies to diesel pickup trucks vs. the gasoline models.

    Imagine that an average-equipped gasoline-fueled Cruze sedan is $18K. Imagine that it gets close to 40 MPG freeway, and that the routine maintenance is what we expect, oil changes that cost about $30, and etc.

    So what will you pay for a diesel Cruze sedan? $20K? $22K? Remember this is an average equipment level, not counting the modifications necessary for a diesel powertrain. How about when the routine maintenance costs go up, let’s say double in price each time? From a $30 oil change to a $60 oil change.

    I found that I really like the IDEA of a diesel Cruze, but in reality want to stick with a gasoline Cruze for a number of reasons. But like I said earlier, my pain threshold was rather low. I would do it if there weren’t a premium for the diesel equipment and maintenance. But, I can’t imagine GM could sell a diesel Cruze for the same price as a gasoline Cruze. It would make more sense to give Volts away for free…

    The diesel Cruze will be a real niche car as it is. I’m happy GM is willing to take the chance to sell one, although as an investor in GM, I want a return on my investment.

    A diesel Cruze wagon will be even more of a niche, and one I’d bet would find few takers. Especially here in the land of cheap Corollas and Civics.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      here’s how it works in australia… you can get a 1.4 turbo for about $20k without much issue

      they want $4,000 for diesel… then where i am you pay $100 more for rego as it weighs more than the petrol

      then diesel is at least 10 to 15c more per litre

      then there’s service costs… and the car drives fine with the turbo 1.4 and is roughly about the same fuel econ

      so what’s the point again?

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the fact there’s 100 comments not on the car, but on GM’s management speaks volumes about what’s wrong with modern corporate america

    australia would barely sell 35,000 cruze units a year and the market is extremely competitive with the Koreans generally slaughtering all before their path and even the Chinese eating the dregs everyone else doesn’t pick up

    Ford isn’t doing that well with a mainly European lineup. GM tried the same thing importing Opels but with a strong Euro and questionable quality and outrageously expensive parts and servicing you can see how that went.

    The trend seems to be throw as many models into the marketplace as possible. Think about aftermarket support later. Get people into a showroom and sell them one of severals cars in the class and price and hope they stick.

    How can you explain some companies with 4 small cars under $20,000?

    Four? Why? There’s 22 million people. Barely 1 million cars sold a year. And thats a good year.

    Really? Its good for the customer of course but not sustainable.

    The Cruze? Yeah it should be fine.

    Give me a 1.4 turbo manual wagon thanks. Maybe with a flashed ECU.

    I’d go automatic but GM autos are rubbish. Maybe if they put in flappy paddles?

  • avatar
    hriehl1

    Attempts to avoid “cannabalizing sales” is a very dangerous game.

    Assume 10 shoppers come into the Chevy store for something like an HHR / Cruze wagon.

    Scenario 1, Chevy doesn’t offer the Cruze wagon
    Here perhaps 5 walk out and buy elsewhere and the remaining 5 get talked into the Equinox. They’re only mildly happy with their purchase with lackluster word-of-mouth and low brand loyalty… they’re driving something they really didn’t want.

    Scenario 2, Chevy does offer the Cruze wagon
    Here perhaps 3 get lost to the competition but we sell 7 Cruze wagons, meeting customer’s stated needs with a world-class product.

    Scenario 1 is the arrogant, short-term, “no cannibalization” thinking the Big 3 exhibit time and again while probably yielding the higher short-term profits. But one can see where that leads long-term. Scenario 2 satisfies customers today and builds customers for life.

    Sadly, our domestic firms see only the short-term view (though Ford is starting to get it). That’s how they lost market leadership and why they’ll never get it back… nor do they deserve it back, as much as I hate to say it. I bought American from 1972 to 2003, I tried to be loyal, but I drove a lot of junk from manufactureres who clearly didn’t care.

    Are there Big 3 haters out here? Yes. You reap what you sow. And they continue to sow discontent by holding back product that is engineered, in production and offered in other markets.

  • avatar
    mjz

    It is absolutely maddening that Chevy doesn’t offer this new wagon or the hatchback Cruze here. They say that Americans won’t buy either bodystyle, but how can we when they don’t offer them? Of course the sedan is the best seller, that’s our only choice. Maddening!

    • 0 avatar
      MZ3AUTOXR

      “They say that Americans won’t buy either bodystyle, but how can we when they don’t offer them?”

      Because in the last 5 years there has been a history – Wagons do not sell in volume. GM is all about the volume.

      Hatchback – you have an argument.

      • 0 avatar
        theonewhogotaway

        not sure about that. I think the just don’t make them in volume.

        Case in point:

        Here are the HHR sales numbers per year:
        2005/41,011; 2006 /101,298; 2007/105,175; 2008/96,053; 2009/70,842; 2010/75,401

        Here are all the Cobalt sales numbers per year (including all body styles and all fleet vehicles) :
        2004/4,959: 2005/212,667; 2006/211,450; 2007/200,621; 2008/188,045; 2009/104,724

        I’d love to see the diffs on privately owned purchases (because rental companies and government agencies were full of Cobalts), but even with the raw numbers you can say that the wagon held up pretty well in sales with its sibling and I’d venture to guess that the HHR sold more units than the 2-door Cobalt.

      • 0 avatar
        MZ3AUTOXR

        Would also like to see a breakout of HHR’s to fleet sales. I see a lot of them with signs on the sides.

        And I also don’t see the HHR as a true wagon. Like the PT Cruiser, it was more of the retro style that sold the car than anything else.

  • avatar
    SilverHawk

    In the US market, at present, no one is going to loose their shirt by not offering a wagon. The important thing is that they develop wagons for the markets that want them, as GM has with the Cruze. If oil prices continue to trend or spike higher, the wagon may again be the smart family choice for US consumers, and replace the CUV. If it’s developed for Europe or China, it can be modified for US production at reasonable cost and speed. From what we hear from the oil companies, the US could become wagon-rich by the end of the decade.

  • avatar
    Pleiades

    Hmmm…that looks like Daewoo’s (oops, “GM Korea’s”) answer to the Hyundai i40 wagon (which is also not available in the US).

    The Daewoo Lacetti Premiere (oops, “Cruze”) is a Korean (oops, “global”) car that GM has chosen to “bring to” or “assemble in” the US in a limited number of variations. In other words, the Cruze is not “US centric”.

    It still surprises me that many people don’t talk about the role of Daewoo (oops, “GM Korea”…old habits die hard) continues to play in the creation of new GM products offered in the US. For example, the Cruze, Aveo/Sonic, eighth-gen Malibu (the newest one), and Spark are “GM Korea” cars that were introduced in Korea (not just Europe and/or Australia) before the US. That’s half of Chevy’s US car lineup for those who are keeping score.

    As an expat living in Korea, it’s fun for me to drive by the local “GM Korea” dealerships and see what will be offered (or not offered in the case of the Orlando and Captiva) in the US next year…

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    That wagon is sexy time. My last wagon was a 1995 Caprice. 23mpg at 80mph…GM was able to do some things right.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Oh come now GM, I think it’s time you did a little research on this. At least out here in Puget Sound country, I see LOTS of hatchbacks tooling around.

    I see plenty of the Mazda Protege5′s tooling around, especially now that I drive one, the Mazda3, the vast majority are the hatchbacks, I see plenty of the Kia Rio, namely the 5 door hatchbacks, ditto for the Spectra5, The new Focus and Fiesta are mostly hatchbacks, the Chevy Aveo (I know, it’s crap) is mostly the 5door hatch, rather than the sedans, the old Geo/Chevy Sprint/Metro were mostly hatchbacks, the Toyota Yaris is mostly the 3 door hatchback, I rarely see the sedans, heck, even the Hyundai Accent sold heavily favoring the hatchback, heck, I see the Jetta sportwagons and the Golf is quite popular too.

    If you go up in the luxury line, I see a the Mercedes 300 wagons, not a huge amount, but not like they are ultra rare or something, same for the BMW wagons and the former nameplate called SAAB, the Sportcombi is seen around these parts (along with the regular hatchback variant of the 9-3), the list goes on. It’s true that CUV/SUV type cars are even more common but it’s not like the hatchback ISN’T selling in the smaller B/C segment cars so why not? The Mazda3 is really just an elongated roofed version of the sedans if they are anything like the Protege, the 5 door hatchback is the exact same length as the sedan, just has a longer roof line and a liftgate instead of a trunk.

    It’s not like people DON’T buy wagons/hatchbacks in at least parts of the country so why not sell an alternative to the 3 box 4 door sedan?

    Wait until the Sonic is fully out there if it isn’t already and see how it sells in it’s hatchback form and that may help GM (if they are capable that is) to rethink their strategy of the Cruze here in the US and we may well see either the hatchback or the wagon (BTW, like what I see of it) eventually.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wagons, stickshifts and diesels don’t sell, these are just facts people.

    Everyone wants access to wagons, but nobody wants to buy them new. GM stands to gain nothing by making the internet happy. When we had all the wagons in the world we didn’t buy enough of them to justify more being made. Can we accept our responsibility in the situation and move on?

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    You can lament all you want ’til the tipped over cows come home,but the Below Average American still cherishes the right to counter-intuitive behavior.Now,I’m not some expert psychic like the ones The National Enquirer consults,but this car WILL come to the US,with a few minor modifications.I predict that after Toyota introduces the wildly successful Prius EcoCross,a Prius V with MMAWDS(Mild Mannered All Wheel Drive System.) and 4″ greater ground clearance.Chevy will respond to this challenge and add to The Hearbeat of America.It will be called the Cruze Cascadia/FXU. It will feature EAUUT(Entire Alphabet Used Up Technology) for safety,and of course, a 4.5″ increase in ride height.These two exciting new vehicles will add to your drive time commute by flipping over in rush hour traffic in the tradition(Observed firsthand by me.)of the Buick Enclave,Acura RDX,Ford Escape,Isuzu Trooper,BMW X5,and as of last week,a Jeep ComPatriot(I couldn’t tell which one,it was upside down.).Doofus Dub Rims shod with 10 Series Ling Long will of course, be optional.

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    You can lament all you want ’til the tipped over cows come home,but the Below Average American still cherishes the right to counter-intuitive behavior.Now,I’m not some expert psychic like the ones The National Enquirer consults,but this car WILL come to the US,with a few minor modifications.I predict that after Toyota introduces the wildly successful Prius EcoCross,a Prius V with MMAWDS(Mild Mannered All Wheel Drive System.) and a 4″ greater ground clearance.Chevy will respond to this challenge and add to The Heartbeat of America.It will be called the Cruze Cascadia/FXU. It will feature EAUUT(Entire Alphabet Used Up Technology) for safety,and of course a 4.5″ increase in ride height.These two exciting new vehicles will add to your drive time commute by flipping over in rush hour traffic in the tradition(Observed firsthand by me.)of the Buick Enclave,Acura RDX,Ford Escape,Isuzu Trooper,BMW X5,and as of last week,a Jeep ComPatriot(I couldn’t tell which one,it was upside down.). Lightweight polyester rayon carbon fiber 22″ DoofusDub Rims shod with 10 Series Ling Longs, will of course be optional.So then,cheer up everybody.


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